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The Lives of Ants

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  96 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Since time immemorial, human beings have been fascinated by ants, amazed by them, intrigued and captivated by them. With numerous black-and-white images and eight pages of color plates, The Lives of Ants provides a state-of-the-art look at what we now know about these fascinating creatures, portraying a world that is rich and full of surprises, one which, even after ...more
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published April 25th 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published February 26th 2009)
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Nov 17, 2009 skein rated it liked it
This book stupefied me. The subject (ants! ants! ants!) is interesting, but the sheer number of ant colonies extant, plus their widely varying mode-of-life, makes anything but the broadest categories impossible. - So I assume - I'm being charitable. The chapters offer vast, sweeping vistas (Slavery! Queens! Nomads!), but are unable to focus on any particular type of ant - instead they offer up tiny bits of information that just don't connect. Bad science, too. (Question: Why do ants not attack a ...more
Jolie Blystone
Nov 18, 2011 Jolie Blystone rated it really liked it
So cool!!!!!! Especially the first 2/3, after that it gets a little too complex for me to fully get it. Ants are badass tho!
Jul 29, 2016 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Prepare for ant facts … According to this book, ants constitute around 10% of the total animal biomass on Earth. In many places they are as at least as important as earthworms in turning soil and in deep fertilisation (by bringing vegetation under the earth), therefore ecologically they are a big deal. But I guess that for most people it’s because of their incredibly complex social behaviours that ants are so fascinating. There are at least 12,467 different species of ant, and behaviours vary wi
Sara Van Dyck
Feb 03, 2015 Sara Van Dyck rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, science
Many chapters may interest only ant fanciers. But the last chapters are fascinating to the general reader and quite surprising. Scientists/engineers have used “swarm intelligence” as practised by ants as ways to solve problems that pure mathematics find hard to address. For instance, ants comunicating location of food sources leave pheromone trails of varying strengths, so that nestmates can find the shortest or most efficient trail to that source. Scientists have created digitized ants who ...more
Neil White
Dec 25, 2011 Neil White rated it it was ok
There's really no other word I can think to describe this book with except 'disappointing.' Ants are fascinating creatures that can show a range of behaviors, innovations and social structures that rival humans, but this book does little to relate that fascination. For starter's it's poorly written - it's possible that it's the fault of the translator, but being that James Grieve is a world-renowned translator from French, I'm more inclined to believe he just didn't have much to work with - it ...more
Mar 29, 2016 Chiara rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, animals
The number of times people saw me reading this and asked, "Are you really reading about ants?" Yes. Yes I am. And why wouldn't you? Ants are fascinating. There were a good number of interest ant facts in here. My only complaint would be that there did not seem to be a structure to the way the chapters were put together, skipping from one topic to the next without much to link them, sometimes coming back to topics that had already been touched on before. Definitely enjoy it though.
Brad Dunn
Apr 23, 2013 Brad Dunn rated it liked it

It's a good book about ants... But you gotta love ants. The first third of the book is for most people but once they start talking about genetics it gets a bit technical. This book needs to perhaps take some lessons from info graphics. Complex things represented In fun and engaging ways. This book feels too dull to be an every person book on ants and probably not technical enough for hard core ant folk. Its better, I suspect, being one or the other. Not trying to appease both camps.
Nov 06, 2012 Charlotte rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
A very informative book, it is filled with interesting facts about ants which may surprise you. The majority of the book covers the details of ants lives. Mainly on their social structure and the varying aspects of it. Towards the end of the book the authors write about how ants feature in our daily lives. For example, how they have used ants to work out how to make efficient queue systems in call centers.
Nov 23, 2013 digbybare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting look at one of the most fascinating creatures. Ants really do make you question some fundamental assumptions about the animals. It's an utterly engrossing read for anyone interested in the topic, but probably won't be terribly interesting for people who aren't already enamored of ants.
Oct 25, 2014 Victoria rated it it was amazing
A well written book that gives a fascinating glimpse into the world of ants. They live with us and thankfully apart from us. The research into their social structure and how it can effect improvements in human traffic patterns and aging are just two things in a wealth of information about ants.
Jul 14, 2012 Donald rated it really liked it
We know they are well organized, live a diligent and structured life; that they are hardworking and thrifty, as well as capable of aggression and violence when disturbed. But with scientific élan the authors open pages of fascinating anecdotes of endless surprises for the layman.
Jul 07, 2009 William rated it it was amazing
Covers all sorts of fascinating research on ants.

Well worth reading.

I was impressed to learn that (on a global basis) ants turn over as much soil as do earthworms.

Interesting section on the interaction of ant research with computer modeling and robotics.
David Fandel
David Fandel rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2016
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Sep 15, 2010
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Jul 14, 2014
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Dec 16, 2014
Ulysses rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2009
Pete rated it liked it
Oct 20, 2014
Li-May Lim
Li-May Lim rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2014
Tab rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2011
Sep 10, 2009 Simone rated it really liked it
I never knew that ants could be so complicated and so wonderful.
Juditha rated it really liked it
Oct 21, 2016
Mooncalf rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2013
Molly rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2011
Gary Walton
Gary Walton rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2014
Dalial Freitak
Dalial Freitak rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2013
Nov 20, 2012 Jenyoseph rated it really liked it
My mind has been blown.
Ants are incredible!
J. Kathryn
J. Kathryn rated it really liked it
May 29, 2014
Lee rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2016
Oridisi rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2014
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